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Country Estate

Location: Pennsylvania

Period: 1915 - 1940's

The Country Estate originally served as the a summer retreat. The house was designed by Wilkes-Barre architects McCormick and French who are best known for their work at Luzerne County Courthouse.  Construction of the house began in 1914 and completed in 1915. 


When first built, the site consisted of the main house, the carriage house, an earlier house that was on the lot (moved to the east corner of the property), multiple outbuildings and formal gardens surrounding the house.  By 1930, two small Japanese inspired Tea Houses were constructed in a Japanese Garden.  The final addition to the site was in the late 1940’s, when a pool and tennis house was constructed.  In the 1950’s, the house was re-purposed from a private country estate to a conference center for small groups (10 to 50) who could use the estate for retreats. 

In 2015, MCWB was hired to produce a conditions assessment of the five structures on the site (Main House, Carriage House, Bath House, and two Tea Houses.)   The purpose of the study was to assess both the integrity of the building fabric and assess its suitability for its current use as a conference and retreat center.  The study identified multiple code and building system improvements that could be made, along with general recommendations for improvements to finishes and restoration of the most historically important spaces in the House.  


MCWB was then retained to produce the construction documents to implement the recommendations of the study.  MCWB worked with Quantum Engineering to develop systems appropriate to the house that would minimize their appearance within the historic spaces.  A high pressure mist system, VESDA smoke detection system, air conditioning, and all new upgraded electrical and plumbing systems were designed for the house. 

MCWB worked with the Owner to identify and select a construction manager for the project, Allegrone Construction.   MCWB and Allegrone assisted in identifying subcontractors and craftsman who were capable of performing the quality of work that was expected for the project.  MCWB also worked with the owner to develop the interior design aesthetic, selecting fabrics, wall papers, carpet, and upholstery for furniture.

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